The Schwarze Pumpe industrial area in the city of Spremberg in Brandenburg covers a total of 720 ha and includes the former industrial site Spreewitz in the neighboring Free State of Saxony. Today, around 80 companies with some 4,250 employees are located in the area where lignite has been refined into briquettes, coke and city gas and converted into electricity in a power station since the mid-1950s. The gas combination plant Schwarze Pumpe, which was turned into the company Energiewerke Schwarze Pumpe AG in 1990, was one of the key pillars of the GDR’s energy industry. On the former grounds of the plant, various hazardous materials have however made their way into the soil over the decades, principally through the process of refining lignite. In addition to benzene, an amount of monoaromatic compounds (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene) as well as polycyclic hydrocarbons (PAH) and hydrocarbons (HC) can be found. The soil contamination, which is extremely high in part, still acts as a source of groundwater pollution.
To remove this contamination, Lausitzer und Mitteldeutsche Bergbau-Verwaltungsgesellschaft mbH (LMBV), Senftenberg/Germany, recently commissioned BAUER Resources GmbH, Schrobenhausen/Germany, with its Bauer Umwelt business unit and the company Lobbe Industrieservice GmbH & Co KG, Duisburg/Germany, as JV partner to build and operate a vacuum treatment plant as well as replace or decontaminate the soil as necessary (Figure 1). All of the specialist foundation engineering and soil exchange measures will be executed by BAUER Resources GmbH and BAUER Spezialtiefbau GmbH. The work starts in November this year and should be completed by 2022.
As well as demolishing the existing superstructure on an area totaling around 25,000 m2, Bauer will also produce six primary sheet pile walls with an overall length of 1,340 m and depth of up to 20 m as well as 147 sheet pile boxes (11.4 x 9.7 m) with a depth of up to 15 m. Every one of the six sections will be immured by a back-anchored primary sheet pile wall. Then, the entire section will be excavated 4.5 m below ground level. Following that, a working platform will be created from where the sheet pile boxes will be inserted. These will form the secondary sheet pile wall and will be secured with a reinforcement brace.
A telescopic excavator will be used to replace a total of over 281,500 t of contaminated soil down to 14 m below ground level. Because the contaminant benzene is an extremely volatile medium, the excavation will be carried out with continuous air extraction and purification. The contaminated groundwater, which to some extent is a mixture of oil and water, levels out in the sheet pile boxes and can be siphoned off during the excavation. The contaminated soil is taken to the treatment plant built and run by Lobbe and returned after it has been treated. As well as a BAUER BG 20 H drilling rig, an RG 22 and RG 16 from RTG Rammtechnik GmbH and a KR 806 anchor drilling rig from KLEMM Bohrtechnik GmbH will also be used among other equipment.
With over 25 years of experience, BAUER Resources GmbH’s Bauer Umwelt business unit is one of the leading specialists in site remediation, both in the domestic market and internationally. An expert in pollution reduction, the business unit offers a diverse range of services for all environmental issues within German-speaking Europe and neighboring countries. Organized by region, BAUER Resources GmbH concentrates on projects across the entire world together with its subsidiaries and has extensive skills in the fields of water treatment, automation, environmental remediation and waste management, drilling technologies as well as well-drilling and reed-bed treatment plants.
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